Migraine in Women

Engage with us on Facebook and Twitter and help raise awareness of the National Migraine Centre


  • Thanks – coffee morning
  • Easyfundraising – Book your summer holiday and raise funds for the Centre at no extra cost to you

Linda’s Story

Linda talks about how migraine was ruining her life, but she found hope by coming to the National Migraine Centre.



Migraine in Women

By Dr. Jud Pearson

The National Migraine Centre has years of expertise in dealing with Migraine In Women, and over the years we have been involved in several research studies investigating the causes and effects of this disabling condition.  We have been invited to participate in WOW – Women of the World Festival 2016 at London’s Southbank Centre.  This is a festival of talks, debates, music, film & comedy celebrating women.  Come along and see us there from 8-13th March 2016.

It is known that migraine is more common in female patients, with a ratio of at least 2:1, and studies have documented around 20% of women suffering from migraine over a 3-month time-frame, compared with 9% of males.  It is even more common in females aged 18-44, where the 3-month prevalence of migraine or severe headache was found to be 23.5%.

It has long been recognised that migraine runs in families, particularly passed from mother to daughter, and many of our patients from the National Migraine Centre were involved in an international study to identify the genes responsible for menstrual migraine.  If you feel that your migraines may be related to your hormonal cycle, then keeping diaries of your headaches and periods are invaluable in diagnosing Menstrual migraine.  Migraines associated with periods are recognised as being particularly severe, prolonged and resistant to some of the common migraine treatments.  Menstrual migraine is often linked to the natural fluctuations in oestrogen levels throughout the menstrual cycle, but can also be caused by prostaglandins released during menstruation.  We have several different methods of managing these attacks, for example using targeted anti-inflammatory medication at the time of your period, long acting triptans or hormonal treatments.

If you suffer from migraine, then it is important to let your doctor know if you ever have symptoms of aura before your attacks.  This is usually manifested by 20-40 minutes of visual symptoms before the onset of headache.  Aura is considered to be a contraindication to taking the combined oral contraceptive pill, as the combination of aura and the pill can increase your risk of having a stroke.  There are other, safer methods of contraception which are better suited for women with aura, and your GP will be able to advise you.

Puberty and menopause are times of hormonal change and this can have a detrimental effect on migraines.  Often a patient’s first few attacks occur around puberty.  Many of the standard triptan treatments are not licensed in under 18s, so specialist advice on managing migraines in this group of young women is invaluable, particularly in minimising the effects on education.  Simple strategies like regular drinks and snacks, and early treatment of attacks can be very useful, and it is helpful to have the assistance of the school in allowing youngsters to follow this guidance.

Many women experience worsening of their attacks around menopause, often associated with hot flushes.  We use a variety of treatments to reduce the impact of migraines around the menopause, including hormone replacement therapy, supplements and other medication to reduce hot flushes, as well as more standard migraine preventative medication.  Often women report an improvement in their migraines after menopause, as the prevalence returns to the same as for males in later years.  As always, your doctor at the National Migraine Centre can offer personalised advice on how best to manage your headaches, taking onto account all of your symptoms, medical history and personal preferences.


How you can help us increase awareness of the National Migraine Centre

Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) might not be something you are familiar with, but it is key in helping people find our website and therefore our Centre.  We want to raise awareness of the National Migraine Centre so that we can help more people who are suffering from migraine and headache.  As we live in such a tech savvy world most people now find us by doing a simple search online.  Whether people search for ‘migraine treatment’ or ‘migraine specialist’ we want them to find us easily. Our first step is to help people find our website and to do this we have to increase our SEO.

Our team recently received training from a supporter of ours who offered his expertise free of charge (for this we are very thankful) on how to optimise our SEO and were surprised with what we learnt. One of the main factors in order to get your website at the top of search engine results is social media, including Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  The more people that follow us, engage with us and share/like and comment on our posts the more likely we are to rise to the top of search engines,especially Google. So, we are asking that all our supporters help us by following us on our social media platforms (links below).  This really will help us and at no cost to you, plus we will keep you informed on the latest news on migraine treatment and offer advice and support to all our supporters.

Click below and follow us on:



Coffee Morning

We wanted to say a big thank you to Cathy Webb who arranged a coffee morning to raise funds for the National Migraine Centre. It is this type of support that means we can continue providing our services to those that are unable to afford the specialist care they require.

If you would like to arrange an event, such as a coffee morning or bake sale, to raise funds for the National Migraine Centre please do get in touch. Call 020 7251 7806 or email charlotte.burr@nationalmigrainecentre.org.uk.




What with the cold weather we have been having many of you may already be planning your summer holiday.  You can help us by collecting FREE donations when you book holidays and travel.


All you have to do is follow these three easy steps and you can help raise funds for the National Migraine Centre at no additional cost to you:


  1. Join– Head to easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/migraineclinic/


  1. Book– There are nearly 300 travel retailers on board, pick the one you want and get booking


  1. Raise– After you’ve made your booking, the retailer will make a donation to us at no extra cost whatsoever!


Linda’s story: Migraine was ruining her life, but she found hope


Linda talks about how she was at the end of her tether as migraine was ruining her life.  National Migraine Centre gave her hope.  She no longer felt alone and felt that her migraines were now manageable.

Watch Linda’s story here.